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Ideas and views from across the left

It’s no surprise that charity workers say the Big Society is dead

Lisa Nandy MP, 15 Dec 2014

Charities are facing increased demands while their employees take pay cuts. This is a failure of the big society and it has been catastrophic for frontline staff.

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How can we reduce the need for food banks?

Luke Price, 10 Dec 2014

Luke Price from Community Links responds to the parliamentary inquiry into food bank use.

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Class Conference 2014: Your policy priorities

Rachel Yates, 4 Dec 2014

We asked Class Conference delegates what they thought Britain needs - and here are their answers. Tell us what you think by commenting on the blog.

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Will the new stamp duty actually cost you more?

Adam van Lohuizen, 4 Dec 2014

The reform of Stamp Duty has been celebrated as a move to bring ordinary families closer to home ownership. But is that the reality?

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Class Conference 2014: Podcasts

Owen Jones, Professor Doreen Massey, Lisa Nandy MP, Mark Serwotka, 4 Dec 2014

Listen to podcasts the three main plenary sessions from our 2014 Conference What Britain Needs, featuring Owen Jones, Josie Long, Will Hutton, Lisa Nandy MP, Mark Serwotka and Professor Doreen Massey among others.

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Autumn Statement 2014: Seven thinkers share their views

Professor Özlem Onaran, Richard Murphy, Mark Ferguson, Ann Pettifor, Ellie O’Hagan, Dr Kailash Chand, Tim Page, 3 Dec 2014

Seven leading thinkers give their reaction to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, delivered on 3 December 2014.

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What to make of this year’s Autumn Statement?

Steve Hart, 2 Dec 2014

Ahead of tomorrow's Autumn Statement, Class Chair Steve Hart looks at what we can expect.

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The benefit sanctions system is harming single parents and their children

Philippa Newis, 28 Nov 2014

A report by Gingerbread examines the impact that the sanctions regime is having on single parents and found that tens of thousands of single parents are facing wrongful sanctions under a broken regime that is overly focussed on sanctions, at the expense of support.

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Time for more working-class women in Parliament

Bernadette Horton, 27 Nov 2014

Read the speech given by Bernadette Horton at Class Conference 2014

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The role of trade unions in challenging inequality

Professor Keith Ewing, John Hendy QC, 26 Nov 2014

The deterioration of pay and conditions for workers are of course a symptom of the great cruelty at the heart of modern society. This is the cruelty of rising inequality, all the more cruel because it is deliberate and avoidable. Everybody talks about Britain needing a wage rise. But how is this to be done? The answer is simple. Sector-wide collective agreements provide a solution to all of these problems and much else besides – the growing gender pay gap, the abuse of agency workers, and the problem of the two-tier work force and the contracting out of public services.

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When governments stop funding them, art institutions end up being used as PR tools

Ellie O’Hagan, 20 Nov 2014

Art and culture is essential for human connection and self-expression. It’s not a luxury for those who can afford it. We need to be bold enough to make the arguments for things that don’t simply have straightforward functional value.

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Ed Balls tackles a major General Anti-Abuse Rule deficiency

Richard Murphy, 17 Nov 2014

Tax expert and accountant Richard Murphy gives his response to Labour plans to tackle tax avoidance.

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Health care isn’t a privilege, it is a fundamental human right

Dr Kailash Chand, 4 Nov 2014

Read the speech given by Dr Kailash Chand OBE at Class Conference 2014.

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Don’t be fooled - Ukip offers nothing to Britain’s workers

Paul Kenny, 31 Oct 2014

Paul Kenny warns that many of Ukip’s supporters would actually be far worse off under its policies

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Lyons does 90% of the job

Steve Hilditch, 17 Oct 2014

Steve Hilditch, a housing consultant and contributor to Red Brick, gives his response to the Lyons Review.

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What conference season has told us about political apathy

Ellie O’Hagan, 14 Oct 2014

There are large swathes of the electorate who are disillusioned, angry, alienated from politics, and feeling ripped off and unrepresented. Unfortunately this conclusion seems to have largely passed our political leaders by. There was a palpable sense of a bullet dodged at Labour conference after the Scottish referendum, and inadequate interest in why nearly half of Scotland’s population decided they’d rather live in a foreign country than be tied to Westminster. Sure, the leaders called for change – but you got the sense that they were only calling for change because they thought that’s what you have to do to make sure things stay the same. Ellie Mae O'Hagan looks over the implications of widespread disillusion.

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Conservative Party Conference: The view from the library next door

Liam Crosby, 1 Oct 2014

An initial reaction to the announcement of further welfare cuts outlined at this year's Conservative Party Conference.

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TTIP: a view from the centre left

Adrian Weir, 25 Sep 2014

If the Government is struggling to win hearts and minds for TTIP it may be because of the questionable economic benefits promised, the experience of the Americans with NAFTA, the developing opposition of organised labour to ISDS and the realisation that improved labour rights may be undeliverable.

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Whose recovery is it?

Rae Delanie Passfield, 22 Sep 2014

Income inequality in the UK is one of the worst in the developed world. With the five richest families holding more wealth than the bottom 20 per cent of the entire population, it is unsurprising people are so frustrated with the system. Class, together with the Institute of Employment Rights, published a report that discusses this disparity and how trade unions can offer vital empowerment for those battling against it.

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A decent deal for workers

Jim Sheridan MP, 18 Sep 2014

It’s clear that if workers are to get a decent deal there must be a big change in industrial relations in this country. As part of a broader programme of improving rights at work and the role of trade unions in the economy, the inclusion of worker representatives on company boards could be one way of achieving a more cooperative relationship between management and employees.

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The views, policy proposals and comments on this site do not represent the collective views of Class but only the views of the authors.

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